Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Kallistra and Great Escape 12mm

 At the request of another gamer, here is a quick comparison of a Kallistra dragoon and a Great Escape British Officer. They go well together. I’d say the Kallistra is a little more slender in heft. I apologize for the comparison using a kneeling figure and a standing figure but I can seem to find my unpainted WW1 lead at the moment.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Palo Alto Continues...

I haven't posted much recently and I haven't posted abut my 10mm Mexican American War project in quite some time. That's not to say I haven't slowly been making progress. I've painted and based all of the regular Mexican infantry, cavalry and artillery for Palo Alto. Here are some cavalry and artillery:

Here is the Mexican 7th Line Cavalry in their post-1839 regulation uniforms. I opted to give them lighter tan and tan/white horses. Not sure if the buglers rode grey or white horses or if they wore reversed colored tunics.

Another picture. These photos were taken with an iPhone and the light wasn't perfect but I wanted to get some pictures up.

Here is a closeup of a lancer stand.

Same stand from a different angle.

Below is the 8th Line Cavalry.

I gave the 8th Line dark brown horses.

 And here is another close-up, this time of the 8th's standard bearer.

Cracker Line/Good Ground Miniatures recently released some artillery for the Mexicans. I picked some up and added them to my Palo Alto collection.

I have a total of 6 stands of artillery which will depict three Mexican batteries.

I painted the guns in unpainted, sun faded wood with dirty metal facings.

Here are some of my American regulars. So far I have 2 infantry regiments and one cavalry regiment. I opted to use the Mexican light infantry in fatigue uniforms from Cracker Line's range. I trimmed off the cap tassels and bugle badges. Most of the swords were removed and knapsack bags were added with green stuff. 

As you can see, I gave one unit the national flag and the other a regimental flag.

Some closeups of the infantry. The command figures (officer, standard bearer and drummer) are from Blaze Away's ACW Union figures. They were also sculpted by Robi Baker, so there is a continuity in sculpt size and style. I lopped off kepi tops and added a green stuff blob to give the impression of the 1839 cap.

I think the converted Mexican light infantry and the Blaze Away command give a good proxy for the US Infantry that are consistent with the Cracker Line Mexican's.

One last look at the converted infantry.

And here we have some American dragoons. Again, these are converted Blaze Away Union cavalry. The only thing converted wit them is the kepi has been converted to an 1839 forage cap via nippers, file and green stuff.

The Blaze Away cavalry have slightly smaller mounts and a little less fine detail but look the part when painted up.

I just bought some of the newly released American Flying Artillery and Mexican Generals. They will be next on the painting list followed by some "red leg" American infantry.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

10mm French Revolutionary Wars

I have always been interested in the Wars of the First and Second Coalitions, especially the the chaotic early years that upended the Bourbon King. I’m obviously a big fan of 10mm so when I saw an eBay auction for some French and Austrians, I jumped on the opportunity and bought them at a very good price. 

I painted up a Demi Brigade featuring 2 battalions of Les Bleus and a battalion of Les Blancs. The bases are 40mm squares.

I added dice trays in the back of the bases to denote unit status. I started this project with the idea that I wanted a base to be a battalion and then looked for an appropriate ruleset that appealed to me. I found a set called “For King or Empress” which is designed for the Seven Years War. I thought a SYW set would be best for the War of the First Coalition, as the armies of the Ancien Regime still fought in old linear tactics. I would then tweak the French Army rules and stats to give them their unique tactics and characteristics. I downloaded the FKoE rules and liked them so much that I bought  the print version.

I still have a ways to go on this project but I have a clear plan and a ruleset (and one Demi Brigade) going forward. In the meantime, here are some closeups of the figures:

The Pendraken figures are some interesting sculpts and I absolutely love them. Not everyone’s cup of tea with their cartoonish, anatomically incorrect proportions but they are right up my alley. I mixed in a lot of phrigian caps and barrack caps in with the bicornes. There are also some striped pants, French  Revolutionary Armies need striped pants for the Sans Culottes!

Another picture of Les Bleus.

Here are some Les Blancs. They are sporting the flag of the 9th Demi Brigade’s 2nd battalion. In hindsight, I forgot to see what this unit’s proper facing color was. Oh well!

I took some liberties with the flags, facings and other uniform items but this is more of a fun project than a serious one. I enjoyed painting up the figures and look forward to more. I will add some Magister Militum figures in for cavalry and allies for the Austrians. Any thoughts who I should use as allies? Dutch? German states of the HRE? Sardinians?

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Off Topic: A Dragon Ogre

In high school, I played a good amount of Warhammer. I owned an Orc and Goblin army. My buddy had Dwarfs (or is it Dwarves?) and Chaos. He had a few dragon ogres and I always thought they were really cool sculpts. Years later, I decided to pick some up on ebay for relatively cheap. One of the sculpts was missing a hand so I bought a cheap Reaper sculpt (kobold maybe?) and used the sculpt's clenched fist with shield as a replacement for the dragon ogre.
Anyway, here is the finished dragon ogre. I painted a simple design on the shield which was inspired by the "time is a flat circle" imagery of the TV series True Detective. 

I gave the upper torso of the dragon ogre a greenish flesh tone which was achieved with a pale green followed by a green ink and an over brush of pale green mixed with pale flesh color. I'm pleased with the result but I am less pleased with the ogre's eyes. I am never good at eyes and rarely paint them but with a model this big I couldn't avoid it. I hope to tackle the rest of my dragon ogres, I think I have 5. Ultimately, I'd like to make an oldhammer chaos army comprised of dragon ogres and centaur type beasts. They'd have to be all OOP sculpts but not necessarily GW. We'll see.

Palo Alto Update: 2nd Light Infantry and Tampico Coast Guard

I've had these units painted up for a while, but have been delayed in basing them. Finally got to that last night and snapped some photos of them today. First up is the 2nd Light Infantry.

I really like these sculpts of the Mexican Light Infantry in fatigue uniforms. In fact, these will form the bulk of the American forces as well. I will do some minor conversions to make them look more "American".
I hadn't yet attached the flags to these units when I took the photos. I will touch the flags up with some paint to make them look more unique and vibrant.

Next up are the Tampico Coast Guard. I wanted to make the Coast Guard look a little different than the regular line infantry so I mixed in sculpts of the 4th Light Infantry. They lack backpacks and some even lack shoes. I feel like they add some character and make the Coast Guard battalion a little more "rag tag" in nature which was my intent.

You can see the lack of backpacks on the 4th Light Infantry sculpts. Next up in this project is the 7th Line Cavalry, which should make a colorful contribution to the Mexican force with their red tunics and green facings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Palo Alto in 10mm

The Mexican American War (as well as the Texas War of Independence) have always piqued my interest as far as gaming and painting are concerned. I started off with 15mm, mostly Musket Miniatures and MiniFigs and even some Frontier. Then I also began collecting 25/28mm with Old Glory, Dixon, Cannon Fodder and First Corps....I ultimately sold these off and re-invested in 15mm when Old Glory released their ranges. Despite all of these starts and stops, I never really came close to finishing the project.

Recently Cracker Line released a Mexican American War range in 10mm called "So Far From God". 10mm is my preferred scale so I jumped in and bought some packs. After that, I picked a battle to model my armies after. I went with Palo Alto because the armies were small and can also be used for Resaca De la Palma. The armies should also provide me a nice starting point if I ever want to collect for Buena Vista. I picked up the book "On the Prairie of Palo Alto" to get in the proper mood. There aren't many books that focus on the first battle and this one is interesting because it also analyzed the geographical and archaeological aspects of the battle. 

Here are some photos of Mexican Light Mounted Regiment. I used the regular Mexican line cavalry in shako packs since the uniform was pretty much the same style.

They are based on 30mm squares with two riders per base.

Next up is the 10th Line. The unit had purple cuffs and lapels, I wanted a color that would stand apart from the dark blue coats so I went with a light purple. I like the look.

Four bases (all 30mm squares) with 6 foot per base. I picked up 15mm flags with an adhesive backing from Historicon. I repainted the red and green portions to give a little more texture and tidy up the cut edges.

So far, I have two line regiments (1st and 10th) and the Light Mounted. I have the 2nd Light Infantry partially painted and hope to upload photos of them soon.

Here is a picture of the 1st Line in column. As you can see the sculpts (Robi Baker sculpts) have alot of detail. They are incredibly easy to paint, I'm not sure why they seem easier than other sculpts but they paint fast for me. There are various poses in different types of shako and even fatigue caps. Give a nice varied look.

The 1st from the front. You can see the yellow lapels and red collars and cuffs from this angle.

 I also picked up some American infantry figures, they are nice but of a different sculpting style than the Robi Baker-sculpted Mexicans. While compatible, I decided to go a different route for the American army. The Mexican Light Infantry in fatigue dress have a very similar uniform to American regulars. Some small modifications should allow me to use Mexican Lights in fatigues as American rank and file. Unfortunately I will have to find something for the officers, drummers and flag bearers. As it turns out, Robi sculpted Blaze Away miniatures (now owned by Lancashire) ACW range. I paln to buy some Federal command packs and use green stuff to make fatigue caps suitable for the MAW. I may have to make a few more conversions to the figures but in 10mm, they don't have to be perfect. I plan to keep you updated.

As for rules, I have never really found one I loved. I think as of right now, I will try both Rank and File and Field of Battle II. R&F units can have varied numbers of bases depending on unit strength. FoBII uses a standard 4 base unit (which is how I am modelling my units). If I opt for Rank and File, I will probably add on additional bases to my units to reflect their strength at the time of the battle.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Clearing off the Paint Desk...

I often start working on a project or a random batch of miniatures, typically inspired by an impulse purchase, a movie or a book, and then I move on to something new...this means that I have several different batches of miniatures unfinished lingering on my paint desk.

Recently I started trying to work on those abandoned projects. I've made some progress but still have more to do. The first batch tackled were some 28mm Warlord Games WW2 Japanese veteran infantry.

Here's the squad. I added some plastic topiary  vegetation to make the bases more tropical and exotic. 

Painting 28mm isn't my wheelhouse, I am much more comfortable painting 15mm and smaller. I primed these guys and the primer was a tad fuzzy. I decided to push on. The uniforms are painted with Vallejo (or maybe Reaper?) Japanese Uniform. The undershirts are Reaper Stone Grey I believe.

I bought this pack as an impulse purchase. My local club played alot of Bolt Action. I bought these, let them linger and finally resumed painting them only to discover that nobody plays BA at my lub anymore. 

I think I am going to sell these guys off, I think I want to restart my Bolt Action Japanese army in 20mm. I still enjoyed painting these guys.

Next up are some 10mm ECW. I love pike and shot and renaissance armies but the ECW isn't a big interest. Lancer Miniatures had several 10mm ECW kickstarters that were awesome deals. I decided to jump in and over time bought some more second hand. Now I have a heap of 10mm ECW. I based these guys for Liber Militum's "Tercios" rules which look pretty cool.

This is a unit of Harqbusiers. I decided to paint them in a uniform look, based off of a color plate depicting Popham's Horse. Future units of horse will be much more ragtag looking. The base is 60x40mm.

And here is a unit of infantry in red uniforms. This is a parliamentary unit, as evidenced by the officer and ensign wearing orange sashes. Right now I have a "blew coat" regiment on the paint desk, half completed. I will tackle them and then probably paint a tawny orange coated infantry regiment for Essex.

I hope to make more updates in the future showing some more projects completed.